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Mallory-Weiss Syndrome

What is Mallory-Weiss Syndrome?

Mallory-Weiss syndrome is a condition characterized by a tear and bleeding in the mucous membrane near where the esophagus and stomach join.

Bleeding from the tear causes a disruption in fluid and electrolyte balance of the body.

What Causes Mallory-Weiss Syndrome?

Mallory-Weiss syndrome is usually caused by forceful or prolonged vomiting or coughing. Mallory-Weiss syndrome may also be caused by epileptic convulsions. Any condition that leads to violent and lengthy bouts of coughing or vomiting can cause the tears that lead to Mallory-Weiss syndrome.

Researchers have discovered that patients with increased pressure in the vein leading into the liver are more likely to bleed heavily from an esophageal laceration than those whose blood pressure is normal.

Symptoms of Mallory-Weiss Syndrome

Some common symptoms of Mallory-Weiss syndrome are:

  • Vomiting bright red blood
  • Bloody stools

Can Mallory-Weiss Syndrome be Treated?

Mallory-Weiss syndrome can be treated. The doctor will stabilize the patient with blood transfusions and intravenous fluids. The blood transfusions and intravenous fluids will help restore the fluid and electrolyte balance. Most of the time, esophageal bleeding stops spontaneously. If bleeding does not stop, patients are treated with an injection of epinephrine (adrenaline) and/or the bleeding artery is cauterized with heat. In some cases, surgery is performed to stop the bleeding.

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